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Under Construction
San Francisco Gay Pride parade

September 6th, 2005

But I Wonder
Tuesday. Home early today, since I have to return to the office this evening for a conference call at eight. A break in the routine, home early, back to the office for an hour, maybe I can morph it into something a little different than my usual routine. What's in downtown Oakland at eight in the evening? Except trouble?

Jerry Brown will never give you his “Good Oaklander Award” if you keep going on. And you do like to go on.

This is a quote from Aaron Broussard, president of the New Orleans Jefferson Parish, from CBS' "The Early Show" talking about the head of FEMA:

"So I'm asking Congress, please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot."

Evidently FEMA's operation really was a complete disaster. Yes, I'm wondering what their response would have been if San Francisco had come down, but what if this had been a biological weapon or a “dirty bomb” in another city? Or, dear God, cities? What's the difference in the response required? Yes, radiological decontamination would be required, massive medical assistance would be required, but massive medical assistance was and is required for New Orleans, massive communication and transportation was and is required for New Orleans, what's the difference? Where's the beef?

FEMA was evidently dismembered and forgotten when it was folded into the Homeland Security Department, but wasn't the Homeland Security Department, amongst other things, supposed to worry about damage done to the Homeland? Or did I get this wrong? You can never tell, the story seems to change as circumstance requires.

Is anything being done “well” by this administration other than the technically excellent work being done by Karl Rove's “Spin The News and Get Your Enemies” Department? I am an admirer of those who do things well, although I have a discussion with myself every now and then about ends and means: the “what” of doing well and how some “whats” might be a good reason to back off.

There are enough historical examples of people doing their brand of somethings very “well”, many of whom were hanged by their necks to much applause by a stirred up citizenry. These are not nice people in Washington, they play rough, and everybody sees that they play rough and everyone seems to say, well, yes, it's a rough business: “Only the strong survive”. Hard to watch them play their games, though, covering up this kind of mismanagement (if you can describe “Iraq”, “New Orleans” and “Guantanamo” mismanagement). I do not know where these guys are going and it scares me to death they're taking us along.

I still maintain this simplistic belief we live in an equal opportunity democracy - either party can screw up as thoroughly as the other - but I wonder. Maybe we're seeing the current lot setting a new mark, some gross outburst of idiocy that can only be matched by the next administration with great effort, if they take the base work accomplished by Mr. Bush and his political hacks to its logical extreme.

Enough of this, don't you think? Next you'll be spilling out whatever you think might be “its logical extreme”. You're getting too old for this. I'm getting too old for this.

Another screen shot of search terms used to find ArtAndLife.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 70-200 f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/640th second at f 3.5 at ISO 200.